Affirmative action for southern white males

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR SOUTHERN WHITE MALES…. Curt Levey of the far-right Committee for Justice doesn’t approve of President Obama’s judicial nominees. Sure, there are the usual conservative reasons — the president, for some reason, refuses to nominate right-wing jurists for lifetime positions on the federal bench — but Levey is especially incensed that there’s a lack of southern white guys among Obama’s selections.

[O]nce again we have to wonder whether a Democratic bias against southern white men serving on the federal appeals courts is at work. […]

Does President Obama or his advisors believe that southern white men are likely to be bigoted, making them unfit to serve on the second most powerful court in the land? We hope not and readily concede that it is difficult to know if any such stereotype lurks in the White House. The absence of southern white male circuit nominees could, instead, be an innocent coincidence or the not-so-innocent byproduct of a judicial selection process dominated by racial and gender preferences.

But regardless of the reason for the pattern we noted in 2007 and again now, even the appearance that Democrats are biased against southern white men is a potential problem for the party generally, and for President Obama’s goal of transcending old racial divisions. At the very least, the pattern merits further thought and discussion, both outside and inside the White House.

Levey specifically points to the southern circuits — the Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh — where President Obama has neglected to nominate southern white guys.

Kyle at Right Wing Watch reminds us of some of the relevant numbers here. Of the 37 seats in these circuits, 20 are already filled by white guys. Of the 157 circuit court seats nationwide, 95 are filled by white guys. It’s awfully difficult to make the case that the president is neglecting an unrepresented “minority” — white guys — when they already represent a majority.

Adam Serwer added, “Just to put this in perspective, a whopping 18 percent of judges on the federal bench are people of color. But in the eyes of this conservative group, assigning more white men to the federal bench ‘transcends racial divisions,’ and that doing otherwise reflects a selection process ‘dominated by racial and gender preferences.’ Conservatives regularly try to cast affirmative action as racially discriminatory, but rarely does someone openly admit that their only issue with the process is simply who is being discriminated against.”